The words with which Donald Trump admitted having threatened NATO allies that he would encourage Russia’s aggression are “shocking and dangerous”. This is what Joe Biden says while commenting on the statements made by the former president during a rally in South Carolina, which are creating alarm among NATO allies, adding that if “my opponent can regain power, he has expressed in the clearest way that he will abandon our NATO allies in the event of a Russian attack and will allow Russia to do whatever the hell it wants.”
“Being commander in chief is the highest responsibility that must be considered seriously by the people who hold this position – continues the Democratic president – Trump’s admission that he intends to give Putin the green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault on free Ukraine and expanding its aggression to the peoples of Poland and the Baltics is shocking and dangerous.”
These statements, Biden continues, “unfortunately are predictable from a man who intends to govern like one of the dictators he has appreciated from day one if he returns to the Oval Office”.
Trump’s ‘exploit’ yesterday forced the White House to immediately rush to make adjustments, at an already complicated moment for President Biden who is trying to contain Israel’s strategy in Gaza. “Encouraging the invasion of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and insane and harms our national security, global stability and our economy,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. On the other hand, it is noted, the trend with respect to Trump’s denunciation has changed. By 2022, seven Allied countries (now 31) spent at least two percent of their GDP on defense. There were only three in 2014.
Borrell: “Silly election campaign idea, let’s be serious”
“Let’s be serious, NATO cannot be an à la carte alliance: it either exists or it doesn’t exist. I have no intention of spending my time commenting on every silly idea that comes out during this election campaign in the US”, says the High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell, on the sidelines of the informal Development Council in Brussels, commenting on the words of the former president. “Let me be sarcastic – he continues -, during this electoral campaign we will hear many things said. But let’s be serious: NATO cannot be an à la carte alliance, an alliance that works according to the mood of the President of the United States: one day yes, the other no, it depends on who you are…come on, let’s be serious”, he concludes.
The European Commission is meanwhile “preparing a structured internal process, to prepare for all the possible results of the US presidential elections”, says the deputy chief spokesperson of the Commission Arianna Podestà in Brussels during the press briefing, regarding the possible repercussions on trade relations of a possible victory for Donald Trump. “It’s something we are preparing: we have no other information to share,” she concludes.
Tajani: “Trump? I don’t agree”
“The theme is that of European defence, which we have been insisting on for some time. I won’t get involved in the US election campaign” but “I don’t agree with candidate Trump’s words on NATO”, comments Antonio Tajani on the sidelines of a press conference in the Chamber.
The Secretary General of NATO also responded yesterday – and above all – to Trump. “NATO remains ready and able to defend all allies, any attack on NATO will have a strong and united response,” said Jans Stoltenberg, with words that respond in particular to the needs of Poland and the Baltic countries. Putin, on the other hand, in a recent interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson declared that Russia has no reason to attack Poland – unless Warsaw attacks first – or Latvia. Reassurances which, needless to say, have no value for the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian leaders.
Peskov avoids the question about Trump
”I’m still President Putin’s press secretary, not Trump’s”. Thus Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded, avoiding her, to a request for comment on the tycoon’s statements.
What Trump said
The former president of the United States, who is aiming straight for the Republican nomination in the race for the White House, has dusted off an old warhorse by pointing the finger at the members of NATO who do not invest 2% of GDP in defense.
At the rally in Conway, South Carolina, Trump harangued the crowd by saying that he would not hesitate to “encourage” Russia to attack NATO countries that do not respect their financial commitments. A disruptive message, in a context characterized by the war between Ukraine and Russia, with Kiev waiting for weapons from the USA to continue resisting Putin’s offensive. The 61 billion dollar package is blocked in the Senate, in Washington, where Trump’s influence is being felt on a group of Republicans.
The former president shocked the Atlantic Alliance by saying that in the past, in a NATO meeting, he confided to another head of state that the United States under his leadership would not defend any country considered “delinquent”. “The president of a great country stood up and said, ‘Well, if we don’t pay, and if we’re attacked by Russia, who’s going to protect us?’” Trump responded on that occasion: “You don’t pay, you’re a criminal. Nobody would protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do what they want. You have to pay, you have to pay your bills.”